The GW baseball team was coasting 11-game winning streak after an undefeated spring break, but a loss to Rhode Island Saturday snapped the Colonials’ early season run.
And with a second loss to the Rams Monday, a loss to Delaware State Tuesday and a postponement that spoiled the Colonials’ 5-1 lead at Navy Wednesday, the team has not yet been able to get back on track.
The Colonials looked poised for a win when they took a 2-1 lead into the top of the ninth at Delaware Tuesday. But the Hornets’ Scott Martin had other plans, hitting a two-run homer off GW reliever Nick Koken that just made it over the left field fence.
Senior captain Chris Barry drove in both GW runs and Travis Crowder scored once, improving his career run total to 157, the eighth most in GW history. Freshman Josh Wilke, the starter, allowed only one earned run over eight innings.
Head Coach Tom Walter said although he is upset his Colonials (16-7) lost three of their last four games, he is pleased with his team’s progress so far this season. The team had won every game since being swept by No. 1 Georgia Tech in early March, including spring break wins over Hartford, Georgetown and Norfolk State.
“Overall I’m pleased, but (the recent losses are) little disappointing,” Walter said. “We’ve had chances to win some games in the late innings but we just haven’t come through.”
Walter said he is impressed with the performance of his pitching staff, including Greg Conden (4-2), who is second on the team with a 3.16 ERA and has pitched a team high 42.2 innings, but said he would like to see improvement in many other phases of his team’s game.
“Defensively we’re not where we want to be yet,” he said. “Offensively, we’re not in a groove. We need to strike out less and basically we just need to be more consistent in everything that we do.”
An influx of young talent has helped the Colonials’ cause early this year. Freshman shortstop Tom Shanley led the team with a .403 average going into Tuesday’s game after starting his college career with a 15-game hitting streak which earned him three Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Week awards. He hit safely in 19 of his first 20 games.
“Tom Shanley has been outstanding at the plate,” Walter said. “And Josh Wilkie has been throwing the ball real well.”
Wilkie, the freshman hurler, has been getting it done on the mound, leading the GW pitching staff with a 2.95 ERA. He pitched eight innings in Tuesday’s loss to Delaware State, allowing one run (unearned) while striking out 10 and giving up only three hits.
GW plays next Saturday in a doubleheader at home against Temple. The first game starts at noon at Barcroft Park in Arlington, Va.